Thursday, July 31, 2014

Oh I Don't

Oh I don't know
I don't know
I don't know
I don't know a goddamned thing

- Nathaniel Rateliff, Still Trying

* * *

It strikes me that I don't know a goddamned thing. I have a host of reactions and suppositions, knee-jerk responses and postures to draw upon: the detritus of navigating my days and playing roles. And for much of the time this sort of shorthand for thinking passes muster because we each do it and no one really wants the jig to be up.

But, damn, it is time for spades to be called spades and the man behind the curtain to come out and fess up.

If not, then this wound is gonna cancel us out.

* * *

We are never trapped by our circumstances, but by our responses to them. This is true. This is true. This is true. But when was the last time you took a breath and looked at those responses? When was the last time you re-considered anything? We fall into patterns of unknowing, of rote responses (a phone call from your ex makes you instantly angry, work places fresh responsibilities on you and you instantly compare yourself to others who don't have that new pressure, a bill collector calls and you flush with shame) and never really figure out why it is so. We are justified, in our minds, for how we react. After all, your ex cheated on you, your cubicle mate earns more and does less, and the fucking bills are a constant reminder of just how far you fall short. Right?

I know. I know. I've walked that road. It blows.

But, really, my love, when was the last time you stopped yourself from those automatic responses and took the heat out of it? The shorthand responses we've developed for negotiating our way through the bullshit and tumult of living are incredibly effective defense mechanisms. They help. In the short term. In the short term only. But, listen, you are not a short term project. It's going to take a goddamned lifetime for you to finish your work. So, ease off that pedal and start thinking past those responses and see what you come up with.

* * *

The first step, as near as I can tell, is to admit you don't know a goddamned thing.

Honest.

If you're fucked, if your life is fucked, if you are wandering in circles, then, baby, you don't know a godddamn thing. You have let your fears and wounds dictate your life and all you know is fear and hurt. That ain't shit. That is the bottom of our experience, lizard brain shit. You are more then that. Wildly more and the automatic response, by definition, is thoughtless. What the fuck use is a frontal lobe if you don't use it?

Breathe. Think. Know. Yourself.

It ain't easy and it is as easy as pie. The risk you must run is letting what is thoughtless drop from your shoulders and have the grit and grace to embrace what you find waiting for you. It may be a palsied thing, it may be weak, wan, sallow, it may be bloated, unwell, but there begins your healing, there begins your knowledge and from there begins your unfucked life.

* * *

And to do this, there is one absolutely essential element that must come into play. Without it you'll cycle back out into the wasteland of unthinking responses to the challenges of living the life you have. You have to forgive yourself for not knowing sooner. Gnashing your teeth, feeling embarrassed for not getting here sooner is just another ego trick, a protective response keeping you trapped. It happens because, in that moment, when you are face to face with the frailty and magnificence of your life, of all life, you wish to unknow your mistakes, to unknow your soon enough death, to unknow the days that have slipped through your hands. Ignorance seems so much nicer. And it may be for some, but not you. You want to know. You want to move in the world free, unfettered, your losses no longer defining you. You want your life to take hold. How do I know this? Because you are reading this.

* * *

Boom.

__________

Sunday, July 27, 2014

If Man Is

If man is to come up to his full measure, he must become conscious of his infinite capacity for carrying himself further still; he must realize the duties it involves, and he must feel its intoxicating wonder. He must abandon all the illusions of narrow individualism and extend himself, intellectually and emotionally, to the dimensions of the universe: and this even though, his mind reeling at the prospect of his new greatness, he should think that he is already in possession of the divine, is God himself, or is himself the artisan of Godhead.

- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Writing in Time of War

* * *

Keep this in mind: de Chardin, a Jesuit priest, wrote those words in a trench while serving as a stretcher-bearer in WWI. 

It helps with the perspective.

* * *

There is no mistaking the power each of us holds to choose how we will answer the questions life puts before us. You are the locus of all the meaning and purpose and love that you have or don't have in your days. I believe in the individual. I believe we are more powerful than we allow, kinder than we believe and can, as solitary beings, alter the arc of the lives around us by our example. If you have read any of what I leave here, then you know this is my first foot foward.

But there is more.

If you are fucked and stuck and trapped by fear or doubt or loss or longing or a disconnect from the life you thought you'd have and the one you actually have, the most important thing I can tell you is you have the ability to change your response to those circumstances by being responsible for the things you think, say and do. You may never become rich, your circumstances may not change, but you will be changed and that makes all the difference in how you bear your days.

But there is more.

Listen, Borges taught that if you could name one thing - a deer, a notebook, a coffee cup, a pen - it also implied its opposite, its obverse, which was everything else that was not the deer, the notebook, the cup, the pen. In short, one thing implied many things; it suggested, in its uniqueness, its solitariness, the rest of all creation: the universe. I always loved that. It's a rhetorical flourish that nonetheless speaks a great truth: you are not here alone - everything is connected. de Chardin's idea is the same: the individual's capacity for growth and change is infinite and so stretches out to include the universe.

But this is possible only when you cast off the narrowness of your pain, the narrowness of your desire and extend your sense of self outward, expanding your reach and loving more than what is close to you, dear to you, familiar and seeing in others the same struggle for meaning and how poorly we can respond to our circumstances. Do this, get to this place where what is unique inside you is found in others who are wresting with the same immutable truth (we all die, now how are we to live) and the wonderment that attends that realization will blow your head clean off.

But there is more.

We are multitudes made up of individuals. Masses, populations, the welter of our species is overwhelming, but we live out our lives individually. This tension between the multitude and the individual becomes a pressure point for conformity, for the application of law, for order to be hewed into the rock of the chaos that surrounds us. It is often what I rail against here. But there is another step to take, something de Chardin intimates: when you unfuck what's been fucked in you, when you choose to respond to your circumstance with the freedom and responsibility of a mind alive to the light of day you are transformed into a catalyst for all subsequent changes, subsequent transformations of those whose lives you intersect. And here is where it becomes sublime: if Borges is right (and he is) that means you, my best beloved, are the hinge of creation, of all that follows, of what can yet be. From one, many, and that one is you.

* * *

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was a Jesuit priest. He volunteered to be a stretcher-bearer in WWI. He was an evolutionary scientist and is credited with discovering Peking Man. His church isolated him and refused to allow many of his writings to be published. He was one man with all of one man's attendant flaws and greatness. He extended our collective reach, not because of his faith in Christ, but because of how he lived his life: engaged up to his ears. You needn't be a priest or scientist or war hero to extend our reach. But you do have to be awake to the possibility of what you, and only you, with your attendant flaws and greatness, can bring.

Now go. You have shit to do.

* * *

Boom.

__________


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Despite My Illusions

Despite my illusions to the contrary, no one will read my books or know my name a hundred years from now. If for some strange reason I am wrong about this, just add another hundred years to the example and my point will be recognized. I'm not important in the long run–no one really is. I'm only important in the short run, in the here and now... When the Buddha was asked whether he was a holy man, he replied simply, "I am awake."

- Stephen Asma, The Gods Drink Whiskey

* * * 

There is this: all of your striving, all of your anxiety, all of your anger, all of your sorrow, all of your joy, all of your dreamings, all of your wisdom is evanescent: the sudden glow of a lightning bug. We pretend it is not so. We move through our days confident that the things we say and do carry with them an importance, a correctness, a validation of that confidence. I think, therefore I am. I do, therefore I am correct, or important, or have the devil by his tail. We puff out our chests commenting on our acquisitions, our pay, our politicians, our way of moving through life as if there was only one way - our way, the American way, the liberal way, the conservative way, the way of capital, the way of Jesus, the Middle Way, the way of righteousness and power, the way of judgement and caste. And, in ways large and small, it is all the way of sleep. Here, I'll define sleep as anything that removes you from this very moment, this one eternal now. If you are not here now, then you are not with us at all. You are sleeping and in your sleep you believe your dream is real and you do great damage to yourself and those around you because of it

No one needs another fucking holy man, woman or child telling us what to do. We just need to be awake to one irreducible fact: we all die, love. The time to live is always right now.

* * *

Compassion is our highest art - not love - for compassion exceeds the bonds of affection and pours itself out everywhere. Even in those dark and fetid places where hatred and violence fester and erupt out into the world. It isn't so much turning the other cheek as it is having mercy on those who are so lost, so far gone in their illusions and delusions that they clothe their ignorance in endless justifications. What justifies most violence, most cruelty, most narcissism is the false idea that both the future and the past are places they can create and recreate and revisit to excuse their actions right now, when the truth is they have it exactly backwards. There's only here, there's only now.

Look, everyone has it hard. Everyone struggles with the pain of loss, of being lost. We construct systems to order and guide our days (religion, politics, commerce) but those systems have come to replace our capacity for individual thought. We vote straight tickets. We denounce other faiths. We war over oil. When your faith does your thinking for you, you are asleep. When you accept political propaganda, or commercial advertising (is there a difference?) without questioning its veracity, you are asleep. When you meditate in your home, when you pray in silence but don't bring that peace to others, you are asleep.

We all die. We fear it and so busy ourselves pretending it isn't so, believing in heavens, believing in hells, believing in nothing when there is a greater truth that is walked by because it is so obvious and so difficult: if there is to be a heaven, it will be here; if there is a hell, we have made it here. Right now is all we have and the things we say and do matter - not just for ourselves, but for others as well.

Think of it this way: when you're on a plane and they go through the safety instructions they always say to put your oxygen mask on first and then help those who need help. If you are awake, then your oxygen is flowing - now go help the person sitting next to you. This metaphor breaks down when you try to help another and they refuse it, believing, in their dream, their sleep, that they already have all the oxygen in the world and you are the poor sod who isn't going to make it.

This is where compassion becomes art.

* * *

I am an idiot. I have been helped throughout my life and refused to see it, or worse, felt guilty or embarrassed for the help. This is why compassion matters so: those who helped me let me fail, let me struggle to wake up - they didn't do it for me. They were just willing to catch me when I fell. No dogma. No judgement. Just the hope I'd figure some part of it out before I died.

I am still an idiot. I still fall, still fail, but through our conversation I've started to wake up. It is my hope some part of this helps you as well. If not, that's cool. You'll get there or you won't. That's up to you. In either case I'll be here.

* * *

Boom.

__________


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

When The Wagers

When the wagers are over
And the die is cast
All the speculation laid to rest
When our number is discovered
And spoken at last
Were we praised, were we loved
Are we forgiven, are we missed
Did we let go of our fortune or keep it clenched inside our fists
Through the air it turns till it lands and comes to rest
Have we loved, have we learned, are we blessed


- Kevin Michael Higdon, Fortune's Child

* * *

Yesterday my mom slipped under the waves and out into infinitude. I am told she took a nap and passed that threshold quietly. I hope it was not so. I hope it was something better.  I hope she was awake to it. I pray she recognized it and finally, finally, finally just let it all go.

There was a partial solar eclipse on the day she was born. The White Sox lost to Cleveland 11 to 2. Science News published an article "Dogs Get New Kind of Training to Serve as Guides for the Blind." The Journal of the American Medical Association published an article about the effects of blood loss from repeated blood donors. And Paddy and Mary Deegan brought a daughter, Mary Patricia, into the world. She would walk among us for 30,404 days.

That's a lot of days. I knew her for the last 19,671 days of her life and of those days I cannot recall very may times when she was happy, or at peace with herself. She was a remarkably resilient woman. Tougher than shit and it seemed to do her no good. It is a dangerous and foolish thing to project onto another life any sort of judgement about how well or poorly that life was lived. It is dangerous and foolish because we can only see the effects of how that life was lived. We can never know what it was like to make those decisions, those omissions, and what drove those choices. I can tell you facts only:

• when she was just a few months old her brother, Jackie, aged 3, died
• later, her parents, broken by loss, would tell her the wrong child died
• she won a full academic scholarship to an all-girls Catholic college but was told by her mother that she could not accept it, "Do you think you're better than me?"
• she was 19 when she married a great guy
• she had two healthy sons
• she and her husband quickly built a successful business
• jealousy unraveled the business and they never recovered
• if there was a pyramid sales scheme, she was there
• if there were bills to be paid she ignored them
• she smoked Pall Malls, 2 packs a day, until she quit suddenly in 1980
• she could suffer, but not sacrifice
• she wanted to let go of her anger towards her mother, but never could
• love did not rest easily with her and affection was never displayed
• she taught her grandchildren how to play poker
• the night her husband died she could not face it and went home to wait for word
• she wore large earrings and wigs her whole life
• she was aware of the encroaching dementia and it sent terrors through her
• there are no good photos of her
• bootstrapping was a way of life for her
• she was afraid to die and died alone

Is this a life's story? No, no, no. I cannot give her to you in full because she did not give herself to her time, to her life in full. Always there was a shadow of despair, of things not being right, of it not working out, of wanting something better, more, something that could finally fill the hole her parents dug in her heart. The tragedy was not that her parents blamed her for their broken-ness, but that she found the cure, held it in her hands and knew it not: at 19 she married a great guy, had two healthy sons...

* * *

What fucks us is the fear that we're not worthy of the life we have, that we are too broken to be able to make any of it come right. Here is what I know, here is what my mother taught me - though she never understood it - it was taught in the obverse: you are enough, you are it, you are the answer you seek and your presence here among us is to be used to find all the ways that is true and so embolden another to understand that they are enough, they are up to the challenge of living joyfully among their sorrows.

* * *

Years ago, my son asked me what happens to us when we die. I told him I didn't know, but that I believed we became cosmic, absorbed back into the mystery, part of everything. Not a heaven or a hell. Not a rest after labors, but infinitude. I do not know what has become of my mother other than to say her body, so very worn out, was cremated and turned to ash. It's history of private touch, its scars and failings spent in a fire, released, forgiven. Her spirit, her soul is beyond me as well. The time to use one's spirit is while you're alive - that is what makes it a soul - and her spirit (so intransigently fragile, so remarkably durable) abides in memories and teachings and I suppose she cannot truly be gone until those who knew her are gone. But if the difficult lessons I learned from her life are, in part, transformed into the words here and the words here are brought into your life, then in a way, her work is extended and branches out into unknown countries.

Maybe.

For her, she would want the heaven and the rest.
For her, I hope she has found it.

Mom, I know how hard you tried. What you didn't know was it's not hard at all.  You were loved. You were forgiven. You were blessed. May angels sing you to rest.

* * *

She had one request of me from years ago to play a certain song at her service. She outlived all who knew her so I don't know what sort of service there will be. So you'd be doing me a solid if you'd listen.

* * *

Peace.

__________

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Most Potent

“The most potent way to tell a story is first, to have lived it. And if you’ve lived it then you’re speaking the truth. And when you speak the truth, a listener will feel that it’s true. Therefore, your story will be more contagious.”


* * * 

I could not write this without having lived this. I could not presume to offer a single thing here without having walked this road. Otherwise, there would be no "here" here. The challenge is not looking for something to say, but to always check and make sure I have the authority to say it.

I promise you this: Everything here is born out of experience and that experience has lead me to search out others who have walked this road and when I find an echo or rhyme to the struggles we all encounter I offer it up so that you can find it quicker than I did, learn sooner than I did and so live an unfucked life before too much time has slipped away.

* * *

The question before each of is: how am I to live?
The answer is: authentically.

You are the author of your time, of your time in the body you move in, the mind you wonder in. You alone are responsible for the answers to the questions, tasks and challenges laid before you. You alone must do the things that can be done with this spit of time, this wondrous and finite presence. But you are not alone. The despair of being fucked is born out of believing you're alone, that everyone else has it figured out and is leaving you behind, has already left you. This is the sinister aspect of our fuckeditude - and it is a lie.

Getting lost is what happens when you venture the game. Getting hurt is what happens when you love another because you have made yourself vulnerable, open, trusting. Do not read that as a call to shut down, to not love, to not risk anything. Quite the opposite. This is exactly the moment you must find within yourself the ability to love it more.

We fuck ourselves believing that only goodness, fairness, light and love are our due. That the difficulty of loss, failure, even betrayal, has no place in our lives. But no matter how high you build your walls such things still leak in, plow in and we are rudderless to respond. This is why you feel alone. This is the insidious nature of isolation and trying to protect, a priori, against unseen threats to our peace. If your peace is only made of defenses, then you have no peace. You are fucked before the fall. Carving out only the best of it, saying I will only manage the good and sweet is a betrayal of the life in your veins. Here's why: life is joyful and it is sorrowful at the same time. It breathes in and out. It begins and it ends. To be fully alive, fully capable of answering the question How am I to live? means knowing how to live joyfully among the sorrows, means affirming the life in your veins in the face of the certainty of your death, means saying yes to it all.

* * *

Religion, faith, philosophy, science are ways of organizing the various answers we've come up with to the question about how to live. No one or the other is absolute. No one or the other is definitive. They attempt to answer the unanswerable - the mystery of our existence - and because it is unanswerable our minds break it down into knowable parts. The Hindu is as certain as the Catholic is as certain as the atheist is as certain as Hasid is as certain as... These fractions of a whole we cannot imagine become the manner in which we engage the world: our expectations, desires and limits. And if this is how you know the world then you will find evidence of your belief. The Stoics, Epictetus, Aurelius and Frankl, became my way of unfucking my life and I find evidence of their wisdom everywhere I turn. But that is just how it worked out for me. To live an authentic life you must decide for yourself what works and what does not, what you will pour your faith into, what you will believe is possible and what is not. And any of it is good. Any of it will work with this one caveat: what you believe and do must not, in any way, limit or degrade another.

What I lay out here is for you to consider, to play with, to mull over. I learned to unfuck my life when I realized I had something to give to others who'd found themselves stuck, disconnected from the life they knew was in them. Anything I write is provisional, not absolute. It is here for you to test out, to try on, to see where it might lead you.

I am a failed man who wrested authorship of my life back into my hands. I do this so that you might be emboldened to do the same in your own way.

And I have more to do.

I am deep in the middle of a large project that I will roll out for you soon. This blog will always be here and I will continue to serve its needs. It is just there is more I can do and that more is on its way.

Stay tuned.

* * *

Boom.

__________

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sufficient Unto Each

Sufficient unto each heart is its own sorrow. He will take the iron claws of circumstance in his hand and use them as tools to break away the obstacle that blocks his path. He will work as if upon him alone depended the establishment of heaven and earth.

- Helen Keller, Optimism

* * *

Sufficient unto each heart is its own sorrow, its own beginning place, the point of departure where all that came before is rested innocence and illusion: the whole of that course the preparation for the sorrow that unmoors, the crisis of circumstance and faith that now has stopped you, stripped you of the powers you once believed you had.

Sufficient unto each is the unique, impossible to replicate or explain process that your soul and psyche have undergone in response to that sorrow, that grief, that cruelty, that loss, that failure of wit and imagination: unique, impossible, solitary. How you have understood or not understood each moment that brought you here is all you have to work with now that you are here. You begin with what is at hand and right now all that is at hand is your experience, your process, your ability to think, to discipline your thoughts and if you're trapped none of that will appear to be sufficient to master the task at hand. None of it.

But the obstacle is your way. Your pain is where you'll discover the release. The sorrow that clouds your heart is sufficient to begin the process of bringing clarity and understanding and forgiveness to this very moment.

When you run from the sorrow, the trap, the pain, the difficulty, when you hide from it, when you bury any thought of it it will never leave you, never be done tormenting, never not ever will you be past it. Unresolved, unaddressed, unconfronted, unused the wound remains open and you are less than you might otherwise be.

To unfuck it you have to go it and use what is at hand - as weak and immaterial as it may seem - and begin.

* * *

I loathe optimism. I cringe upon being told to be optimistic. I hate the naive assertion that I can affirm my worth through upbeat self talk. I loathe such nostrums. And yet I am an optimist, but my definition veers from the up-up-with-people road. Optimism to me is the willingness to meet each day and do something. Large or small is doesn't matter, but so long as it moves from inside (my head, my heart, my soul) out into the world, then I find I have more strength and courage to continue doing it - regardless of outcomes. Worrying or focusing on outcomes is an attempt to control events outside of your ability to control. All we get to work with is what we think, say and do. Outcomes are judgements others make about our efforts. Let go of giving a shit about any of that. What matters is your process: how you transform thought into word and deed. By getting something done each day I live inside my process, I am in the flow of my life and deliberate optimism has no place.

When I fail to do, to create, to give, to build I become rudderless, doubts re-emerge and I am stuck with having to use those doubts to jump off and begin the process again.

It is never one and done, my brothers and sisters. it is always about returning yourself to yourself so you can re-enter the stream.

* * *

The obstacles you encounter are your teachers; they are the threshold you must cross in order to become who you might yet be. The grace of daily obligations is one path. For you studied optimism may be best. I don't know, but you do. I need the ritual of daily effort - I am like a recovering alcoholic in that regard - but your circumstance, the lens of your experience is different than mine and you have to find your way to remain in the flow of your possibility. Never compare yourself to any other. Always know you are sufficient unto your own heart. You are everything you need to begin. Where it then takes you, what you learn is added to the store of experience and in that moment you will then have all you need to begin and so on and so on and so on...

Believing in destinations destroys the journey. Believing sorrows are punishments misses the chance to grow. Believing you don't already have all you need shits on the gifts you bring. Upon you alone depends the establishment of heaven and earth. You are the creator of your time. You are the one who must choose.  So do so. The unfucking begins the moment you decide to enter the stream.

* * *

Boom. Boom. Boom.

__________

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Ring The Bells

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in. 


- Leonard Cohen, Anthem

* * *

Time is a motherfucker. Regrets are illuminations come too late. Always we fucked fuckers tend wounds, finding ways to keep them open, because our fidelity to the past is greater than our willingness to live and dare this very moment to be something other than a rehash of what has come before, and we are shocked, just shocked, at time's flight. By pouring over what is past and gone, dead and gone, by insisting that we can keep the past from slipping away from us, we seal off what may yet be. There is a popular trope floating around these days encouraging us to lean in. Fuck that. We should lunge in.

The tendency to relive the past - either our glories or our pain - is the very soul of perfectionism and perfectionism is a ruse we play on ourselves in which we acquire supernatural powers of control in order to never feel any pain, or disappointment, or defeat, or loss, or even joy. The perfect is lifeless. The imperfect is fecund, variable, prone to bursts of light, surges of dark. It advances in stutter steps and headlong rushes. It crashes. It burns. It cracks open the perfect shell of illusion and that is how the light gets in - the light you need in order to see where you are going and that is all that matters.

You know where you've been. Now let it go.

* * *

Why do we try so fucking hard to make things "right" or "perfect"? Could there be anything more useless that perfect rightness? It is better to be kind than right, better to be fallible (you know, human) than godlike. Here's why: this is where the adventure is. In Rilke's Duino Elegies he wrote of angels longing to set aside their perfection to become human, to join time in order that they might know the feral power of love and loss as something beyond perfection because it was finite.

Why, if this interval of being can be spent serenely
in the form of a laurel, slightly darker than all
other green, with tiny waves on the edges
o every leaf (like the smile of a breeze) - ; why then
have to be human–and, escaping from fate,
keep longing for fate?...
                                      Oh not because happiness exists,
that too-hasty profit snatched from approaching loss.
Not out of curiosity, not as practice for the heart, which
would exist in the laurel, too...

But because truly being here is so much; because everything here
apparently needs us, this fleeting world, which in some strange way
keeps calling to us. Us, the most fleeting of all.
Once for each thing. Just once; no more. And we too,
just once. And never again. But to have been 
this once, completely, even if only once;
to have been at one with the earth, seems beyond undoing.

If you would have perfection you must be imperfect. If you would be eternal, beyond the stench of time, you must be finite. If you would join all life you must live but one life, the one in your hands.

And how is that done? By doing what you can while you can. By ringing the bells that can be rung, not the ones you'll never reach or hear. By letting go of the shame that attends our fears. We are ashamed to have ever fallen. We are ashamed it hasn't worked out better. We are ashamed of our bodies, our works because they are not perfect. We see perfection in our mind's eye but cannot live it and so believe we are not blessed.

I get that. I know that one pretty good. I also know it is a lie.

* * *

You and your imperfection are exactly what you need to find out what there is you can do with the bit of time left. You might have another 60 years. You might have 6 days. No matter. Nothing is promised. You have to go find out what there is for you in this world and I can promise you you were made for more that being fucked. Getting fucked and stuck is inevitable. It happens to each and every last one of us motherfuckers. The challenge is how you respond to it. And listen, you can piss away all of your time being stuck. People do it all the time. The idea of reincarnation helps smooth over that wasteland. But the truth is, love, there's only here, there's only now and that is enough. Truly it is. This moment is enough for you to know the power that rings your senses, that quickens your heart and illuminates your mind. This moment is enough for you to know that you are enough, that it is not your losses that define you, but your willingness to respond to those losses with kindness, tenderness and let them go so that you can see what else there is to see while it is still light out.

Shame and fear are the harrowing of hell. Have none of it. You have nothing to be ashamed of or to fear. You are human: fallible, imperfect, capable of great love. This is your perfection and it makes the angels weep that they cannot be you.

* * *

Boom.

__________